To put it simply, Blake Austin’s early season form in the VB NSW Cup has been smashing, baby!
The Wests Tigers five-eighth has orchestrated two come from behind victories in the last two weeks and gained Paul Fletcher four competition points he probably thought were lost.
In fact, the only game the Wests Tigers VB NSW Cup side has lost this season is their Round 2 loss to the Cronulla Sharks and Austin was 18th man for the NRL team on the Gold Coast and did not participate.
Tigers VB NSW Cup coach Paul Fletcher has been keeping a close eye on Austin for NRL coach Mick Potter and believes his team’s early season success can be attributed to the performances of the inform five-eighth.
“He has won three out of our four games for us,” Fletcher said.
“Last week he kicked a field goal with three seconds to go and the week before he scored a try with 10 seconds to go.
“I think Blake fully acknowledges the fact that sometimes he over plays his hand a little bit... he needs to show a little bit more composure.
“The players that have got vision and can see things will chance their hand a little bit more than the players that are steady.
Austin has been named at five-eighth for the Wests Tigers NRL clash against the Cowboys at Campbelltown Stadium this weekend and Fletcher couldn’t be happier for him.
“He has definitely done enough to earn a shot in first grade,” Fletcher added.
“He has trained with the NRL squad all season so he will fit in well with the structures Mick (Michael Potter) likes to use.”
Austin is also kicking goals off the field. A recent NRL Footy Show piece highlighted the Doonside Roos junior’s weekly coaching commitment to an Under 17s team from his junior club.
Deemed the “un-coachables,” Austin has succeeded where five other coaches failed and brought the team together on the field and he has also engaged drug and alcohol officers to try and make a difference in the players’ lives off the field as well.
If Austin is called up into the NRL this week then Paul Fletcher will be hoping he can return to his VB NSW Cup side for the majority of the season.
If the Tigers’ form with Austin steering the ship remains constant perhaps we will be hearing a yeah, baby, yeah out of the coaching box at Allianz Stadium come Sunday, September 28.
While Austin won't be there, the rest of his Wests Tigers VB NSW Cup team mates will take on the Penrith Panthers at Sportingbet Stadium on Saturday. Kick-Off at 3pm. If you can't make it to the match, our friends @HawkesburyRadio will be calling the match. Click here to listen